Dr Reddy's, AstraZeneca may settle patent case out of court

Dr Reddy's Lab's long-standing patent dispute with Europe's AstraZeneca over a drug to treat heartburn may be resolved out of court following a similar settlement between the European drug maker and Israel's Teva

Indian pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd's long-standing patent dispute with Europe's AstraZeneca over a drug to treat heartburn may be resolved out of court following a similar settlement between the European drug maker and Israel's Teva, feel market watchers.

Dr Reddy's and AstraZeneca are at loggerheads over alleged infringement of the latter's heartburn drug Nexium and experts feel the settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals would help the Indian pharma company's case.

AstraZeneca has filed a lawsuit against Dr Reddy's alleging that the Indian company's generic version of a heartburn drug infringes on its $4 billion drug, Nexium.

Angel Broking’s vice president and research specialist (pharmaceuticals), Sarabjit Kour Nangra said that there is a possibility of settlement between AstraZeneca and Dr Reddy's. "Similar settlement out of court could be possible between the two companies," Mr Nangra told PTI.

According to Satish Kanteti, joint managing director, Zen Securities, the Indian pharma company has been making deals with multinational companies (MNCs) for the past two years and may go for a settlement with AstraZeneca also.

"Even AstraZeneca may prefer for a settlement considering the size of the market of Nexium. They may not risk the $4-billion Nexium market," Mr Kanteti said.

He, however, said that the settlement depends on how strong Dr Reddy's claim is and pointed out that Teva is more aggressive than Dr Reddy's in terms of marketing.

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